Army vet killing leads to arrest of 3-in-murder-for hire plot

Mugshots (l. to r.) Benjamin Bascom, 24, Melissa Roque, 21, and Kevin McFoley, 28

(Volusia County Sheriff’s Office)

An Army vet shot and killed in Florida on Veteran’s Day last year was thought to have killed after he stopped to help a stranded motorist.

Now the authorities say that the 60-year-old Carlos Cruz-Echevarria was targeted in a murder-for hire plot. They announced three arrests Thursday in Volusia County.

The body of Cruz-Echevarria was found next to an abandoned truck in Deltona on Nov. 11, 2017, Fox 35 Orlando reported.

Cruz-Echevarria had stopped to help the driver who got stuck in the mud. The truck appeared to be stolen, and Cruz-Echevarria’s vehicle was later found burned in Apopka.

He didn’t know then that the stranded driver he stopped to help was a hitman who was driving to his house to kill him, the station reported.

“I have a cop of 32 years, and this is one of the most heinous, despicable, cowardly acts that I have ever experienced,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.

Army vet Carlos Cruz-Echevarria, 60, was killed on Veterans Day 2017. Make-shift memorial marks the spot in Deltona where he was killed.

(Volusia County Sheriff’s Office )

Authorities said their lengthy investigation of the murder showed Cruz-Echevarria was killed to prevent him from testifying in May 2017 road rage case.

The defendant in that case, Kelsey McFoley, 28, faces a long prison sentence for allegedly pulling a gun on Cruz-Echevarria at a traffic light, the station reported.

To avoid prison, McFoley was accused of hiring of Benjamin Bascom, 24, to kill Cruz-Echevarria, to the station.

They were accused of murder, together with McFoley’s girlfriend, Melissa Roque, 21.

The researchers said they assisted McFoley and Bascom the night of the murder, to the station.

Click for more from Fox 35 Orlando.




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